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NH Hunting Report - September 8, 2016

Kent Gustafson: (603) 271-2461


huntingNew Hampshire's hunting seasons are underway! Black bear and gray squirrel, and resident Canada geese seasons started September 1. Visit Fish and Game’s website at for hunting season forecasts by New Hampshire biologists, Wildlife Management Area maps, season dates, bag limits and more.



What’s New? 


2016-2017 NH Hunting and Trapping Digest: Hot off the press, this publication has season dates, bag limits, check stations and in-depth information for hunters and trappers. Read it online at or pick it up from an agent.


A notable change this year is that the fall turkey shotgun season has been extended from 5 to 7 days (October 10-16, 2016) by adding a weekend at the end of the season.


Changes for Pheasant Hunters: New Hampshire pheasant hunters should be aware that certain rules have changed. Due to safety concerns for Fish and Game staff, hunters and the integrity of the pheasant program, ALL pheasant stocking sites will be closed to pheasant hunting statewide until noon on in-season stocking days.  These closures will occur on Thursdays and Fridays, October 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21, 2016. See a list of pheasant stocking sites and learn more at


Deer and Turkey


Archery season is almost here – New Hampshire’s long archery season for deer and turkey starts September 15 and lasts through December 15 (except archery deer and turkey seasons close December 8 in Wildlife Management Unit A).  You can pick up some tips and tactics for bowhunting for fall turkey in the latest issue of NH Wildlife Journal; read the story and subscribe at


Looking ahead, the much-anticipated regular firearms deer hunting season opens on November 9. Check the 2016-17 Hunting Digest for Wildlife Management Unit (WMU)-specific either-sex deer hunting regulations.


Download a printable N.H. deer season Wildlife Management Unit map and season dates summary at


Don’t Use Urine-based Lures:  As the fall hunting seasons begin, Fish and Game urges hunters not to use natural urine-based deer lures. These products can potentially spread Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer and moose. Synthetic lures are strongly recommended. Do your part and help our deer herd. Learn more at

Bear Hunt Outlook

Odds are good for New Hampshire’s bear hunters to be finding ample bear sign and activity this fall, according to Bear Biologist Andy Timmins. With a current bear population estimated at 6,100 animals, bears are abundant and at or above the desired population goal in most areas of the state.  This means that hunting seasons are fairly liberal in many regions, thereby allowing increased hunting opportunity. Season lengths and dates vary by region and method.  Hunters must refer to the 2016-2017 NH Hunting and Trapping Digest for specific season dates. Read Timmins’ full outlook for the 2016 bear hunt at


Small Game and Upland Birds


Small Game Hunters: It’s a great time of year to be out in the colorful autumn woods hunting for small game. Squirrel season is already underway, and more seasons open in October.  This is a great chance to sharpen your skills, and also a nice opportunity for introducing youngsters to hunting. Read Small Game Project Leader Karen Bordeau’s forecast for the 2016 small game season at

  • If you hunt for small game, be sure to fill in a small game survey form and be entered into a raffle for a quality firearm. See
  • For grouse hunters, there’s a separate survey, also with a firearm prize. New Hampshire has excellent opportunities for grouse and woodcock hunting, especially in the northern parts of the state.


Waterfowl Hunting


Dates for the waterfowl hunting seasons can now be found in the 2016-2017 NH Hunting Digest. Find a summary of information online at


The youth waterfowl hunting weekend will be held statewide in New Hampshire on Saturday/Sunday, September 24-25; participating youth must be age 15 or under and accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older (the adult may not hunt).


Events for Hunters


Outdoor Adventure Talks:  Don't miss our series of free talks by hunting experts and others at the N.H. Fish and Game Department starting September 14.  Topics include furbearer management, duck hunting, goose hunting, and two deer hunting talks.


Free Sporting Expo - Get set for the fall hunting and fishing seasons at a the New Hampshire Sporting Expo at Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett, NH, on Sunday, September 18, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.


Where Can I Hunt?


New Hampshire has more than a million acres of state and federal lands that are open to hunting - not to mention all the private landowners who generously allow hunters access to their properties. For ideas on where you can hunt in New Hampshire, visit

For a listing of New Hampshire’s largest Wildlife Management Areas, visit; you’ll love the interactive map.


Please do your part in helping to maintain hunting access on private lands; see


Take a Friend, Make a Hunter!


Don’t forget the Apprentice hunting license, an option for those ages 16 and older who want to try hunting, but have not taken Hunter Education. It allows hunting under the guidance of a licensed hunter age 18 or older. In 2015, a total of 597 people (413 men and 184 women) took advantage of the apprentice license program in New Hampshire. Apprentice licenses are available only at Fish and Game headquarters. Learn more at



WSFRFederal Aid in Wildlife Restoration: A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
Researching and managing wildlife and teaching people to become safe, responsible hunters are activities funded by your license dollars and by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, supported by an excise tax on your purchases of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Learn more at